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Electron microscopy was used to analyze the crystallographic and magnetic structures of high-coercive-force Co-Cr composite films. The chromium sublayer appears to give high coercive forces by causing the growth of cobalt in the hexagonal phase with a relatively narrow distribution of grain sizes. Magnetization reversal was examined by Lorentz microscopy of films with coercive fields up to Oe. It proceeds by nucleation and extension of magnetostatically coupled domains. The progressive limitation of these extensions as the coercive force increases illustrates the connection between the magnetostatic coupling, the coercive force, and the squareness of the hysteresis loop. Lorentz microscopy was also used to investigate a recorded transition between NRZ 1 and 0 states and showed a saw-toothed structure, characteristic of a magnetization in the plane of the film.